Equality, Inclusion and Diversity in the SOC

The SOC is committed to the principle of equal opportunity and non-discrimination within the Club. This statement applies to SOC members (“members”) and any individuals representing the Club in a voluntary capacity (“volunteers”). Separate policies are in place for SOC staff.

The terms equality, inclusion and diversity are at the heart of this policy. ‘Equality’ means ensuring everyone has the same opportunities to fulfil their potential free from discrimination. ‘Inclusion’ means ensuring everyone feels comfortable to be themselves in the Club and feels the worth of their contribution. ‘Diversity’ means the celebration of individual differences amongst our members and volunteers. We will actively support diversity and inclusion and make every effort to ensure that all of our members and volunteers are valued and treated with dignity and respect. 

We value people as individuals with diverse opinions, cultures, lifestyles and circumstances.
While specific responsibility for eliminating discrimination and providing equality of opportunity lies with the SOC Trustees, individuals at all levels have a responsibility to treat others with dignity and respect. The personal commitment of every member and volunteer to this statement and application of its principles is essential to eliminate discrimination and provide equality throughout the Club.

The SOC is committed to providing a Club environment free from harassment and bullying. We aim to ensure that all members and volunteers who are acting on behalf of the Club are treated, and treat others, with dignity and respect and no one is treated less favourably than any other person.

Key Principles
  • This statement covers bullying or harassment which occurs anywhere within the Club, whether carrying out paid or voluntary work on behalf of the organisation or at organised social functions. It also covers contact through social media or messaging apps.
  • The SOC considers that harassment and bullying of any nature is unacceptable and that all concerns will be dealt with swiftly, fairly and appropriately.
  • Every member and volunteer has a personal responsibility NOT to harass or bully anyone else. All parties are required to treat each other, along with external contacts, with dignity and respect.
  • In deciding whether any harassment or bullying has occurred, it will not just be the intention of the action that will matter but whether the behaviour is unacceptable by reasonable normal standards and if it is unwelcome to the person concerned.
  • Any member or volunteer who considers that they have been subjected to harassment or bullying can discuss their concerns on a confidential basis with the Club Administrator (or SOC President, as appropriate) before making a formal complaint, to decide on the most appropriate way forward.
  • Similarly, any member or volunteer who becomes aware of harassment or bullying occurring should bring the matter to the attention of the Club Administrator (or SOC President, as appropriate).
  • Members or volunteers who make complaints or who participate in good faith in any investigation must not suffer any form of retaliation or victimisation as a result.
  • SOC membership of anyone found to have retaliated against or victimised someone in this way will be subject to termination under the terms of the Club’s Constitution. Making a false allegation deliberately and in bad faith will be subject to the same procedure.
  • Legitimate and reasonable criticism of the performance or behaviour of a member or volunteer do not amount to bullying.
  • If you believe you are being harassed or bullied, you may wish to raise the problem informally with the person responsible. Explain the situation and how it has made you feel. It can be helpful to describe the event so the other person is clear about your concerns. Use the opportunity to ask the person to change or stop their behaviour.
  • It will be helpful to keep a record of all incidents of unwarranted and unwelcome behaviour and of attempts to raise this with the person concerned.
  • If you do not feel that informal steps are appropriate, or they have been unsuccessful, you should raise the matter formally with the Club Administrator (or SOC President, as appropriate).
  • All complaints will be investigated. If we consider that there is sufficient evidence to suggest you have been harassed or bullied, we will consider the appropriate action to take. If the person accused is a staff member, this may include invoking the disciplinary procedure. If the person is a member of the SOC, it may include terminating the membership.
  • Whether or not your complaint is upheld, we will consider how best to manage any ongoing SOC working relationship between you and the person concerned.
  • Harassment is any unwanted conduct that has the purpose or effect of violating a person's dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them.
  • A single incident can amount to harassment. A person may be harassed even if they were not the intended "target". 
  • Harassment also includes treating someone less favourably because they have submitted or refused to submit to such behaviour in the past. It is unlawful under the Equality Act 2010 to harass a person because of their age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. It also includes conduct of a sexual nature (sexual harassment).  Harassment is unacceptable even if it does not fall within any of these categories. Examples of harassment include, but are not limited to:
    • unwanted physical conduct including touching, pinching, pushing and grabbing
    • unwelcome sexual advances or suggestive behaviour
    • offensive e-mails, text messages or social media content or the display of offensive materials
    • unwanted jokes, banter, mocking, mimicking or belittling a person
  • Bullying is offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour or an abuse or misuse of power through means that undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient.
  • Bullying can include the use of personal strength or the power to coerce through fear or intimidation, not necessarily from someone in a position of authority.  Bullying may be physical, verbal or non-verbal. It can include conduct that is not face-to-face, including via text message, email and social media. Examples of bullying include:
    • physical or psychological threats
    • overbearing and intimidating levels of supervision
    • inappropriate derogatory remarks about a person or their performance
    • shouting
    • persistently picking on people in front of others or in private
    • regularly and deliberately ignoring or excluding individuals from Club activities or Club-related social events
    • regularly making the same person the butt of jokes

18th January 2021